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Toyota's Proprietary Operating System "Arene" Will Be The Game Changer To Improve Operation and Production Of Future Vehicles


Editor's Note: I have seen the future of automotive software...and it's Toyota, it's a gloves-off fight to the death with Apple, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz VW, Microsoft, Intel, GM, Ford and all the others. No one will be able to pull it all together like Toyota


TOKYO/NAGOYA, Japan January 4, 2022 -- RYO ASAYAMA and YUKI FUKUMOTO, Nikkei staff writers reported that Toyota Motor plans to develop its own automotive software platform by 2025 that handles everything from basic functions to advanced applications like autonomous driving, Nikkei has learned.

With the Arene operating system, the Japanese automaker will join rivals such as Tesla and Volkswagen, as well as tech companies, in the competition to set the standards for the software powering the next generation of vehicles.

Toyota aims to put Arene in its own vehicles by 2025. After that the automaker will make the software available to affiliates including Subaru, along with other manufacturers and startups working on electric or self-driving vehicles. The company is considering monetizing the system through a licensing model.

Arene will control basic components -- the steering wheel, brakes and accelerator, for example -- and manage safety systems as well as location and traffic information. All vehicles with the OS, regardless of make or model, will have access to shared functions. Consumers can update the system online, much like smartphone software, enabling quick improvements to performance.

Engineers will be able to develop for the OS without waiting for new hardware, and cloud integration will let various teams within a corporate group work in parallel and remotely. The system is intended to allow for simulation and virtual testing as well.

Toyota will open Arene to other developers, encouraging companies from outside the industry to create applications for autonomous driving and other functions. The automaker envisions services from a variety of businesses being added to a car as easily as downloading smartphone apps.

The automaker anticipates that Arene will become a more effective platform as more users and developers join, generating more data that can be used to create new services.

Toyota faces competition in the field from Volkswagen, which is working on its "vw.os" operating system, and Daimler, which plans to roll out the MB.OS in its own vehicles in 2024.

Tesla is developing software and systems toward its goal of fully self-driving vehicles, and, like Toyota, it aims to market to other companies as well. Tech companies like Apple -- which is rumored to be working on an autonomous vehicle -- and Google seek to bring the business models that succeeded in smartphones to the auto industry.

The competition to add value to vehicles has been shifting from hardware, such as conventional engines and gears, to the software controlling it. U.S.-based Lux Research predicts that electronics and software will account for 50% of a vehicle's cost in 2030, up from 20% in 2000.

Toyota looks to lift the share of software specialists in its hires of fresh engineering graduates to between 40% and 50% this spring from about 20% previously. Though the company has not said how much it will invest in software development, the automaker looks set to tilt more in that direction, with plans for 18,000 personnel in the field groupwide.